I recently visited one of Copenhagen’s raw restaurants, Raw42 on Pilestræde, and was really taken by their raw desserts. They have these amazing mint layered brownies that are absolutely insane. Why eat raw desserts? In some ways they’re not a category of desserts to eat if you’re worried about eating light. They’re pretty heavy, as they substitute a lot of gluten and dairy items for rich fats and ample fruit sugars. Yet all things considered, healthy fats (nuts, nut flours, coconut oil) and fruit sugars (dates, berries) seem like a fine way to construct a dessert. I’d rather eat desserts like these over the weird pseudo-food combinations found in the US (fat free Reddi-Whip, anyone?) as they’re more natural.
I experimented recently with two raw desserts. One is borrowed from This Rawsome Vegan Life’s book Rawsome Vegan Baking: An Un-Cookbook. The other is just something I created in honor of the Minnesota dessert bars of my college past, specifically the raspberry crumble bars we had in my college dining hall.
raw strawberry almond bars (raw, vegan, gluten-free, processed sugar-free)
crust: 3/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 & 1/2 cups almond flour, 1/8 cup tahini, 1/2 cup pitted soft dates, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
(combine with a food processor until you get a crumbly ball of dough. press into baking tray (8×8 max)
topping: 1 cup strawberries, 3/4 cup soft pitted dates, 1/3 cup water
(combine with a food processor and spread over the crust. freeze. top with sliced figs!)
tahini cups with coffee cream (raw, vegan, gluten-free, processed sugar-free)
from rawsome vegan baking: an un-cookbook
shell: 1/3 cup tahini, 1/2 cup coconut oil
filling: 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled & 1 cup raw pitted dates (the super soft kind)
stir tahini and melted coconut oil together. pour half into the bottom of muffin tins, or tiny cup tins – whatever you have lying around that will give you the vague ‘classic peanut butter cup’ shape. place in refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until hardened.
use a blender, food processor, or hand blender to combine the coffee and dates into a uniform paste with no chunks. remove tins from fridge, spoon a dollop of filling onto each cup bottom. spread out but do not go all the way to the edge, otherwise your cups will end up more like little sandwiches as mine did.
use the remaining shell mixture to cover each cup. return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. enjoy but remember: they will melt quickly if exposed to heat, so store in the freezer and enjoy pretty immediately after removing.